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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Staff editorial: Women must be equally represented on campus

If there’s one thing the University of Houston can boast, it’s an ethnically diverse student body, faculty and staff. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for the representation of women on campus.

Despite the fact that women make up nearly 52 percent of the student body and outnumber men in graduation rates, when it comes to representation in high-ranking positions on campus, such as dean and professor, their numbers are falling short.

In October, Beverly McPhail, director of the Women’s Resource Center, released the Status of Women at the University of Houston to shed light on issues of gender disparity on campus. The 41-page report, a combination of studies, surveys and statistics concerning women at UH, found them to be underrepresented in leadership and faculty positions, even athletics.

According to the report, men outnumber women 6-to-1 at the rank of professor and 2-to-1 at the associate professor level. Even in cases where women outnumber men, they still make up the minority when it comes to securing high-ranking positions on campus. The report also notes that two-thirds of UH athletes are male and that the coaches for the men’s athletics teams make twice the salary of coaches for the women’s teams.

At a campus where women make up more than half of the percentage of the student population, such glaring discrepancies among men and women should not be the norm. Instead, men and women should be represented equally in each aspect of the University, whether it is at the level of the student body, faculty or administration.

Female students need female role models as authority figures, professors and even successful graduates. It’s essential for a university as large as UH to provide equal benefits and treatment for men and women.

The Women’s Resource Center is one UH organization that supports gender equality on campus. It is designed to educate all students, faculty and staff on issues concerning women, and provides a liaison between women on campus and UH administration.

In an interview with The Daily Cougar, UH President and System Chancellor Renu Khator, the second female president, said the University is responsible for staying in tune with students’ needs to provide better support.

"What we want you to do here is to spend your time in learning and not in dealing with other environmental things," Khator said.

UH needs more organizations in support of women’s equality on campus and more people concerned with issues that target women specifically. Hopefully, under the leadership of Khator students will begin to see the start of some well-warranted changes that will put women on a level playing field.

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